Exclusive interview with Director Ti West


Q: The movie really takes its time building up tension and releasing it systematically toward the end. What movies influenced you in terms of structuring your movie?

A: There’s not really any direct influences as much as subconsciously referencing movies that I like from Polanski to Kubrick and things like that.

Q: The movie has a very ‘70s or early ‘80s feel to it, kind of a harkening back to the golden age of horror. Are there any movies from that era of film that you’ve tried to pay homage to?

A: Not really, the movie takes place in the early ‘80s, so I just tried to be as particular as I could be on making it really look like that. Although it’s more than just a period piece, and I think that everyone did a good job recreating that period rather than it just being a simple homage.

Q: The movie is expertly made and extremely suspenseful. Is there a specific way you fashioned the movie for it to have a slow build?

A: Yeah, that’s just my kind of take on things. What really makes art acceptable or horror interesting is the contrast between the horror and the non-horror. If you don’t have a strong contrast, then it doesn’t really work. So it’s just important to me to get to know the characters in their real lives before you get to the horrifics.

Q: In the beginning of the movie it kind of alludes to the fact that this was based on a true story. Was that like a "Fargo"-esque type subterfuge, or just based on rumors or something?

A: The Satanic thing in the early ‘80s was kind of a cultural phenomenon and everyone kind of believed that it was going on. The whole house-sitting story is made up, but the statistics shown in the beginning of the film are real.

Q: In many ways, being kind of a new director, you’ve kind of achieved the impossible already: you’ve made a horror movie that is critically acclaimed as far as horror movies go which is a genre that’s been denigrated since its genesis. Does that make you feel proud?

A: It’s better than not having it, for sure. That’s just one of those things you cross your fingers and hope that people like what you’re doing, so we’ve been pretty fortunate with the reviews.

Q: Are there any up and coming projects that we can look forward to?

A: I’m very cautious to jinx things, so I don’t really want to spill the beans about anything like that.

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